Monthly Archives: April 2014

Flaky Egg Bake

Brunch. It might just be the perfect meal. You don't have to get up super early to prepare the food, it's usually accompanied by some sort of cocktail (mimosa anyone?), and it is a meal that never seems to be rushed. I think I could eat brunch everyday. Flaky Egg Bake would make the perfect addition to your next brunch celebration - flaky phyllo dough is layered with scrambled eggs, veggies, sausage, and a creamy spinach-ricotta mixture. It's baked to a golden brown and makes for a beautiful presentation. It's actually quite easy to make, just a little time consuming. I would recommend prepping the casserole the day or two before you will actually serve it. On the morning you are serving it, all you have to do is pop it in the oven! (Which leaves more time for mimosas...) Start by making the egg mixture. Saute Italian sausage, mushrooms, onions, and peppers until tender. Then scramble in some eggs until set. Stir in some shredded Havarti cheese. (Or whatever's your favorite!)

IMG_6434

For the spinach-ricotta filling, combine some ricotta cheese, Parmesan, chopped spinach, another egg, and some basil. Now you're ready to go!

IMG_6435

To assemble the casserole, you will need 30 sheets of phyllo dough and about 3/4 cup melted butter. The trick to working with phyllo dough is to leave any unused dough covered with a damp towel. This keeps it from drying out. The basic method with phyllo dough is to layer it in the pan, brushing each sheet with butter, and then topping with another sheet.

PicMonkey Collage.jpg

For the casserole, here's how it goes: 10 phyllo sheets --> half of egg mixture --> 10 phyllo sheets --> spinach-ricotta mixture --> 5 phyllo sheets --> remaining egg mixture --> 5 phyllo sheets. Whew! The biggest thing to remember is to brush each and every sheet with the melted butter. (I know it seems excessive... but that's what makes it so good!) IMG_6466 If you're prepping ahead, pop the casserole into the fridge until you are ready to bake. Just be sure to pull it to room temperature about 30 minutes before going into the oven. Bake at 350*F for 40-50 minutes until golden brown! YUM! --- Flaky Egg Bake Yield: 9x13-inch pan; about 12-15 servings
  • 1-lb ground Italian sausage
  • 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 9 eggs, divided
  • cups shredded Havarti cheese
  • 10-oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed & squeezed dry
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh minced basil, (or 2 teaspoons dried basil)
  • 30 sheets phyllo dough, thawed (about 3/4 of a package)
  • ¾ cup butter, melted
1. In a large saucepan, cook sausage, mushrooms, onion, and peppers over medium heat until sausage is no longer pink and vegetables are tender. Drain off fat. Whisk together 8 eggs; add to pan. Cook until just set. Stir in Havarti cheese. 2. In a small bowl, combine spinach, ricotta, Parmesan cheese, basil, and remaining egg. Set aside. 3. To prepare casserole, brush a 9x13-inch pan with melted butter. Layer 10 phyllo sheets in pan, brushing each with butter before adding the next. Top with half of sausage-egg mixture. 4. Repeat with 10 additional phyllo sheets, brushing each with butter. Top with spinach-ricotta mixture. 5. Top with 5 additional phyllo sheets, brushing each with butter. Top with remaining sausage-egg mixture. Top with 5 remaining phyllo sheets, brushing each with butter. 6. Cut casserole into 12-15 rectangles. (This helps make it easier to cut once it is baked.) Bake at 350*F for 40-50 minutes until golden brown and heated through. **Casserole can be prepared ahead and stored in the refrigerator or freezer. Remove casserole from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Thaw completely from frozen before baking. Source: adapted from Taste of Home

Mary’s Memo – April 28th

FROM THE COOKBOOK SHELF


28 Days to Younger Skin (www.robertrose.ca, Toronto Ontario, 2014; $24.95/softback) is a fast-track program designed for people who have a special occasion coming up, such as a wedding, a holiday or any date by which you want to look your best. It can be used to complement your current beauty regime or, if you are having a cosmetic procedure, you can use this program to supply the nutrients in your diet needed to speed up your recovery and enhance your results. It is a 28-day program because it takes that long for your body to produce new cells in the deeper skin, so it’s literally the beginning of a new you by day 28. It also takes about 21 days to form new habits, so by the end of the program you might automatically continue some of your healthy new habits. The program is designed to boost metabolism and supply all the nutrients needed for skin repair, renewal and maintenance. It can also improve your energy and feelings of well-being, and it’s healthy for the whole body. Keep in mind that 28 days is a very short period of time and this program is designed to work fast, so you will have to do some work every day during the 28 days. But the results will be well worth it. Book also includes 50 recipes.

Karen Fisher is an award-winning author, former model and nutritionist. An avid health researcher, she has a passion for finding new, science-based ways to create beautiful skin. Karen believes that the skin’s appearance is one of the main indicators of overall health. For the last decade she has helped hundreds of patients gain beautiful skin and has made it her goal to make nutrition and health interesting and accessible to everyone. The Healthy Skin Diet (Australian edition) was awarded ‘Best Health, Nutrition or Specific Diet Book’ at the Australian Food Media Awards. She is also the author of the 8-week Healthy Skin Diet and The Eczema Diet. Karen lives in Australia.

WHEN TO GO ORGANIC


Organic food as a rule costs more than conventional food but is it worth the extra money? The priority level is highest for fruit and vegetables, according to Urvashi Rangan, PhD., executive director of Consumer Reports’ Food safety and Sustainability Center. Rangan says that rinsing conventional fruit and vegetables doesn’t effectively reduce pesticide residue that are left behind. But organic produce isn’t treated with synthetic fertilizers or most synthetic pesticides in the first place.
Source: Consumer Reports on Health, April 2014.

CURRIED QUINOA WITH CAULIFLOWER


Daughter Mary Ann loves this recipe. Leftovers freeze well for future meals. Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wa) is relatively new to American supermarkets but the 4th Edition of the Food Lover’s Companion reports it being a staple of the ancient Incas who called it “the mother grain.” It’s considered a complete protein because it contains all essential amino acids. Quinoa is also higher in unsaturated fats and lower in carbohydrates than most grains and provides a rich, balanced source of vital nutrients. It cooks like regular rice but takes half the time. That said, here is the recipe from a blog at whatwouldcathyeat.com.

• 2 tablespoons oil (canola, safflower or olive oil)
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
• 1 carrot, cut into 1/2-inch half-moons
• 1 small head of cauliflower, broken into small florets
• 1/4 teaspoon salt or more to taste
• 5 teaspoons curry powder
• 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 1 cup water
• 1 cup frozen peas
• 1 cup quinoa (red quinoa recommended but white would be fine, too)
• Plain non-fat yogurt

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion, garlic and carrot over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the cauliflower, spices and salt and cook for another minute. Add 1 cup water, then cover and simmer 12 to 15 minutes until vegetables are tender. Add the peas during the last minute of cooking. Meanwhile, cook the quinoa according to package directions. Mix the curried vegetables into the quinoa and serve. Top with nonfat yogurt and toasted slivered almonds.

Download PDF

Easy Stuffed Ham & Cheese Biscuits

Hope you all had a happy Easter weekend! We had both my family and my husband's family in town, and spent lots of time outside in the sunshine. One of the highlights of the weekend was definitely our Easter feast - cheesy potatoes, deviled eggs, baked beans, and of course, a Chief Smokehouse spiral ham. So glad that we hosted... that means we get all the leftovers! This week's recipe is a super simple supper from my childhood - Stuffed Ham & Cheese Biscuits. My mom always whipped these up on a school night when we needed something filling and fast. Buttery biscuits are sandwiched around a cheesy ham filling. Perfect with a bowl of soup, side salad, or some tater tots. It's definitely a budget friendly meal, too. Canned biscuits, canned ham (or leftover Easter ham), sliced cheese, and a little bit of onion and mushroom (if you're feeling it.)

IMG_6447

Start by making your ham filling. Place a can of smoked ham (or equivalent amount of leftover ham) into a bowl and add some diced onion, diced mushroom, and a bit of mayonnaise or butter spread to hold it all together. Season with salt and pepper.

IMG_6450

To assemble the sandwiches, pop open a can of biscuits. You will use two biscuits for each sandwich. Flatten each biscuit to about a 4-inch circle and place on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Distribute the ham filling between the biscuits, and top with a slice of your favorite cheese. Top with the remaining flattened biscuits and seal the edges.

PicMonkey Collage.jpg

Bake at 350*F for about 15-20 minutes until golden brown and cooked through. So easy and so delicious!

IMG_6455

This recipe is also pretty versatile... you could sub canned chicken for ham or use leftover Easter ham instead. You can always switch it up the veggies and cheese as well. ---

Ham & Cheese Biscuits

Yield: 4 sandwiches
  • 1 can refrigerated biscuits
  • 1 can smoked ham
  • cup finely diced onion
  • cup finely diced mushrooms
  • 1-2 tablespoon mayonnaise or butter spread
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 4 slices cheese, (Swiss, American, Co-jack)
Method 1. Preheat oven to 350*F. Combine ham, onion, mushrooms, and mayonnaise or butter spread in a bowl. Season to taste with salt & pepper. 2. Flatten each biscuit to a 4-inch round. To assemble sandwiches, place 4 flattened biscuits on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Evenly distribute the ham mixture onto each biscuit. Top with cheese slices. Top with remaining flattened biscuits; pinch edges to seal. 3. Bake at 350*F for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and cheese has melted. Source: family favorite recipe from my mom, Patty Schlink

Mary’s Memo – April 21st

BEEF …. IT’S WHAT’S FOR DINNER


If a juicy steak is not in your budget, Chief’s ground beef, the leaner the better, has endless possibilities including the Beef Council’s recipe for Korean Beef Skillet.

KOREAN BEEF SKILLET


• 1 pound 93% lean ground beef
• 2 cups bok choy cut into 1-inch pieces
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 1/2 cup Korean barbecue sauce (or your preferred brand)
• 1/4 cup water
• 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
• 1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
• 1/2 cup fresh bean sprouts
• 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
• Hot cooked brown rice or La Choy Chow Mein Noodles Topping (optional):
• Thinly sliced radishes

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add ground beef, bok choy and garlic; cook 8 to 10 minutes, breaking into small crumbles and stirring occasionally. Stir in barbecue sauce, water, red pepper; cook 1 to 2 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in cabbage, bean sprouts and green onion. Let stand 5 minutes. Serve mixture over rice or La Choy Chow Mein Noodles. Recipe makes 4 servings. Note: Be sure ground beef is thoroughly cooked to an internal temperature of 150ºF. Color is not a reliable indicator of doneness.
Source: Adapted from Beef Council recipe.

CAN TOO MUCH COFFEE CAUSE ATRIAL FIBRILLATION?


Too much caffeine may make your heart race, but it’s not likely to cause atrial fibrillation (afib). Rather, regular caffeine intake may lower your risk of afib. In a meta-analysis of six U .S. and Scandinavian studies involving more than 228,500 participants, regular consumption of caffeine in coffee, tea, cola, cocoa or chocolate lowered the incidence of afib by 11-16 percent. The more caffeine that was consumed, the lower the risk, with the incidence of afib dropping 6 percent for every additional 300 mg of caffeine consumed per day. Afib risk increases the presence of atrial fibrosis. The authors of the study, published online January 6, 2014, in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology, suggested that caffeine‘s protective qualities may be due to its antifibrotic properties.
Sourc e: Duke Medicine Health News, April 2014.

NEW FROM LE CREUSET


I could not resist investing in the new stove top 10.25-inch Skinny Grill from Le Creuset, especially since shipping was free at the time of my purchase. Best of all, the regular price for the Skinny Grill is $145.00, but I bought it from Sur la Table’s latest catalog for $79.00. It’s available in several colors including rosemary, Le Creuset’s newest green color that blends well with previous light green pieces. I used it for the first time last night and it cooked a 1-inch thick boneless loin pork chop in less time than it would take had I used my oven broiler or cooked it outside on the grill by indirect heat. Before the pork chop had finished cooking, I added 6 asparagus stalks and they were done in minutes. I mistakenly thought the grill itself had a nonstick finish but it doesn’t. Skinny Grill should also be greased before adding food. Burner temperature should be no higher than medium heat for any grilling. The only negative thing I have to say is the card that came with the grill didn’t have the information about greasing the grill or what the burner temperature should be. This information came from a customer service representative at toll free 1-877-418-5547. Le Creuset products are made in France.

MEATLESS MUSHROOM SOUP FOR LENT


Any recipe that is meatless gets my attention during Lent. Original recipe from the Mushroom Council called for 1-1/2 pounds sliced button mushrooms and 8 ounces of fresh shitake mushrooms, sliced. The latter would have made a soup that only yields 6 cups prohibitive. To keep the price more reasonable, shitake were replaced with 8-ounces of baby bella mushrooms, sliced.

MUSHROOM CHILI


• 2 tablespoons canola oil
• 1 cup chopped sweet onion
• 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
• 2 tablespoons chili powder
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1-1/2 pounds fresh button mushrooms, sliced
• 8-ounces baby bella mushrooms, sliced
• 1 (14.5-ounce) can stewed tomatoes
• 1 (15.5-ounce) can white kidney beans, rinsed and drained (I prefer Bush brand)
• 1/2 cup sliced ripe olives
• 1/2 cup water

In large saucepan heat oil until hot; add onion. Cook, stirring frequently, until onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic powder, chili powder and cumin; cook until fragrant about 39 seconds. Add button and baby bella mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are crisp-tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add stewed tomatoes, beans, olives and water. Simmer uncovered, to blend flavors, about 10 minutes. If desired, garnish with chopped lettuce, chopped green onions and reduced-fat shredded sharp Cheddar cheese. Makes 4 servings.
Source: Adapted from Mushroom Council recipe

Download PDF

Buffalo Blue Cheese Deviled Eggs and Compound Herb Butter

Easter is less than a week away, and I've got two more fabulous recipes for you to whip up for your Easter celebration! First up - Buffalo Blue Cheese Deviled Eggs. These are a twist on traditional deviled eggs, with a touch of heat and the tang of blue cheese. If you like hot wings, you will love these deviled eggs.

IMG_6393

  [Funny story: I cannot make hard-boiled eggs for the life of me. Seriously. Over the course of the last few months, I tried making hard-boiled eggs on three separate occasions. They either were gooey on the inside, or completely overcooked. My solution? The pre-made hard-boiled eggs in a bag. They make life so much easier!] IMG_6385 To make the deviled eggs, start by cutting all your hard-boiled eggs in half, and removing the yolks to a bowl. Mash the yolks up with a bit of buffalo sauce, chopped pickles, green onions, mayonnaise, and blue cheese. Spoon it back into the egg halves, or get fancy with a ziploc bag and pipe it in. Top them with additional hot sauce and blue cheese for garnish.   IMG_6388 Second recipe for the day - Compound Herb Butter. This is a super simple way to jazz up your butter to serve with fresh-baked bread. Simple combine softened butter with a combination of minced fresh herbs - basil, thyme, and dill. Add some minced garlic, salt, and pepper, and you've got quite the tasty spread! IMG_6401 We spread it on a loaf of Italian bread from the Chief bakery, and it was delicious. It'd be great on dinner rolls, too. Or even on the outside of a grilled cheese sandwich. It also keeps really well in the fridge, for several weeks. Happy wishes for a smooth and stress-free Easter dinner! :) ---

Buffalo Blue Cheese Deviled Eggs

Yield: 20 appetizers
  • 10 hard-boiled eggs
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • cup finely chopped dill pickles
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • tablespoons hot sauce
  • ½ cup blue cheese crumbles, divided
Method Slice each egg down the center lengthwise; remove cooked yolks to a bowl. Mash yolks with green onion, pickles, mayonnaise, salt, pepper, hot sauce, and 1/4 cup blue cheese. Spoon filling back into cooked egg whites. Garnish with remaining 1/4 cup blue cheese and a drizzle of hot sauce. Source: adapted from Lauren's Latest ---

Compound Herb Butter

Yield: 1/2 cup
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh dill, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely minced
  • ½-¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼-½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Method Combine all ingredients in a bowl; mix together until well-combined and all ingredients are evenly incorporated. Serve with your favorite bread or rolls. Source: adapted from Annie's Eats

Mary’s Memo – April 14th

WHAT’S NEW AT CHIEF


The product Nutella has been around for ages but now comes Jif’s Salted Caramel Flavored Hazelnut Spread and Hershey Spreads including Chocolate with Hazelnut. Spread on bread or toast, crackers or as a dip for fresh fruit. Yummy! Because I love the salt and sweet combination, I’m partial to the Jif spread. Daughter Mary Ann preferred Hershey because it tasted natural while Jif did not.

One of the newer Dole salad mixes (at least to me) is Very Veggie. Sweet carrots, zesty radishes and pea pods add color and crunch to mild and crispy iceberg and romaine.

Chief’s already large assortment of cheese now includes Wexford Mature Irish Cheddar, a product of Ireland. It may be a getit-while-it-lasts cheese introduced for St. Patrick’s Day but surely worth trying!

WE’RE EATING BETTER, REGARDLESS OF INCOME


It’s not just the recession that’s led to improvements in the US diet, according to a new analysis in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Beyond merely cutting back for pocketbook reasons, Americans are choosing to consume fewer calories and obesity rates are leveling off. The study used sophisticated statistical tools to control for changing economic conditions over the past decade, including unemployment rate and food prices. Calories declined more in beverages than food choices, the study found, and healthier eating trends actually accelerated during the worst of the recession. The new findings align themselves with another recent study by the USDA researchers that found average daily calorie intake among working Americans had dropped 78 calories between 2005 and 2010. That report also showed people using nutrition labels more, eating better at home and eating out less.
Source: Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter, April 2014.

STRENGTHENING MEMORY RETENTION


Finding ways to strengthen or compensate for shortened attention span can help cut down on frustrating memory lapses. Begin by removing barriers to concentration. It’s more difficult to commit information to memory when you’re stressed, emotionally upset, bored or in a negative mood. Physical annoyances, such as uncomfortable temperatures, noise and distractions also make the act of remembering more challenging. When trying to remember something, make an effort to focus and take in more details. Lend meaning to information by thinking about why it is important, organizing it or using visualization, association or mnemonic tricks such as rhymes, acronyms or stories to help retain it. You can also strengthen your powers of attention with games and activities. Play cards, read an article …. then test yourself on the contents or try to remember what you and your friends wore to recent party or luncheon. You can also change your habit patterns. Sit in a different chair to watch TV; take a new route home; rearrange the furniture; try a new restaurant. The trick is to keep your brain active and engaged.
Source: Duke Medicine Health News, April 2014.

BENEFITS OF BLUEBERRIES


The USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University has ranked blueberries as the greatest antioxidant powerhouse out of 40 fresh fruits and vegetables tested. Because of this you should never be without blueberries in some form at home.

Among my cookbook collection is one called The Joy of Blueberries by Theresa Millang published by Adventure Publications in 2003. It is still available from Amazon.com as are Joy of Rhubarb, Cranberries, Raspberries, Strawberries, Apples and Pumpkin! Joy of Blueberries features 200 recipes ranging from bars to soups to ice cream. Trust me, this cookbook is worth buying! So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that this week’s recipe is for Food Network Patrick and Gina Neely’s Blueberry Crisp. I did add an additional 1/2 tablespoon of cornstarch to the recipe so blueberries would be less runny. A few tasters at the Bryan Chief asked if Minute Tapioca could replace cornstarch and I said yes. At home I added a small scoop of Edy’s reduced-fat ice cream.

BLUEBERRY CRISP


• 6 cups fresh blueberries, cleaned and air-dried
• 1-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch or 1-1/2 tablespoons Minute

Tapioca


• 1/4 cup sugar
• 1/8 teaspoon salt

Topping Mixture:


• 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
• 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
• 1/4 cup granulated sugar
• 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
• 3/4 cup chopped pecan
• 1/2 stick room temperature unsalted butter (1/4 cup)

Preheat oven to 375ºF. Toss blueberries, cornstarch or tapioca, sugar and salt together in a bowl. Set aside. To make the topping combine flour, oats, sugars, spices and pecans. Add butter and pinch into chunks or use a pastry blender until crumbly. Add blueberries to a 2-quart oblong baking dish. Top evenly with crumb mixture. Bake for 40 minutes. Serve with a dollop of vanilla ice cream.
Source: Adapted from Patrick and Gina Neely’s recipe.

Download PDF

Roasted Asparagus with Goat Cheese and Walnuts

Easter is just around the corner, so the next couple weeks will be devoted to simple and easy recipes for your Easter feast. Chief has a great spiral-sliced ham... so all you need is the side dishes! Asparagus has always been one of my favorites vegetables in the springtime - something about the green crispiness and fresh flavor makes it perfect for these warmer days. It's also a healthy superstar. It's a great source of fiber, folate, and Vitamin K, and it's packed with antioxidants. (source) IMG_6425 Now, if you have already formed an opinion on asparagus, I ask that you just try it one more time. There's a huge difference between limp, soggy, steamed asparagus and roasted asparagus packed with flavor. Add some goat cheese, walnuts, and a balsamic glaze, and what's not to love? It's really easy, too. Ready from start to finish in about 15-20 minutes. Place your asparagus on a foil-lined baking sheet, and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, and roast at 400*F about 10-12 minutes until tender. IMG_6421 While your asparagus is roasting, make the balsamic glaze. Just add some balsamic vinegar to a small saucepan and simmer until it's reduced and has become thick and syrupy. IMG_6422 When the asparagus is done, let it rest a few minutes. Transfer it to your serving platter, and then drizzle it with the balsamic glaze. Top with goat cheese crumbles and candied walnuts, and you're ready to enjoy! There's a lot of great textures here - crispy, creamy, crunchy. The tangy sweetness of the balsamic glaze makes the dish. IMG_6423   ---

Roasted Asparagus with Goat Cheese

Yield: 4-6 servings
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2-oz crumbled goat cheese
  • cup candied walnuts or pecans, chopped
Method 1. Preheat oven to 400*F. Rinse asparagus and break off the bottom of each stalk. 2. Place the asparagus in a single layer in a baking dish or on a sheet pan. Brush with olive oil; season with salt & pepper. Roast in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes. 3. Meanwhile, place the balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer until it reduces by half and becomes thick and syrupy. 4. Let asparagus sit a few minutes after roasting; transfer to serving platter. Top with crumbled goat cheese and candied walnuts. Drizzle with balsamic glaze.  

Mary’s Memo – April 7th

APRIL SHOWERS BRING SAVINGS AT CHIEF!


As we get closer to Easter be looking for savings on foods of the season. I already purchased a center cut boneless pork loin when it was on sale. Some members don’t eat ham, so pork loin it is for my family. Ham will surely be on sale. I did notice a Smithfield ham in someone’s cart this past weekend. Smithfield has a distinctive taste. Unfortunately, to me at least, the Smithfield brand that originated in Smithfield, Virginia, was purchased by the Chinese in 2013. Other foods likely to be on sale are eggs and baked goods ingredients for items like hot cross buns. If you don’t want to make them yourself, look for this traditional Holy Week bread at Chief.  Note that I always plan menus around sale items …. did it when we were a family of 6 and continue to do it today.

A BERRY GOOD CAKE


I can tell when a recipe is a success when Bryan Chief shoppers buy the ingredients before they leave the store. Some mentioned that it would be a good dessert for Easter brunch or dinner. I agree.

RASPBERRY BUTTERMILK CAKE


• 1 cup unsifted all-purpose flour
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
• 2/3 cup sugar plus 1-1/2 tablespoons sugar, divided
• 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 1 large egg
• 1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk
• 1 cup fresh raspberries, cleaned and air dried

Preheat oven to 400ºF with rack in the middle. Butter and flour a deep 9-inch cake pan. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Beat butter and 2/3 cup sugar with an electric mixer at medium high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes, and beat in vanilla. Add egg and beat well. At low speed, add flour mixture in 3 batches. Begin and end with flour mixture, alternating with buttermilk. Spoon batter into prepared cake pan, smoothing top. Scatter red raspberries evenly over top and sprinkle with remaining 1-1/2 tablespoons sugar. Bake until cake is golden and a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 25 to 30 minutes (mine took 25 minutes). Cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes, then turn out on rack and cool 10 to 15 minutes more. Invert onto cake plate. Recipe makes 6 servings.
Source: www.gourmet.com/recipes.

YOU ASKED


I can’t tell you how many people ask me what to do with leftover buttermilk saying they end up throwing it away. Because I have had the same problem in the past, use it in mashed potatoes and twice baked potatoes instead of milk. It also makes excellent biscuits, both drop and cut-out ones. Since buttermilk lightens any baked goods, use it for pancakes or recipes such as the Red Raspberry Buttermilk Cake. Another question that you have asked is whether or not it can be frozen. People who drink it won’t like it after it’s thawed but its okay for cooking and baking. Finally we all ask dairy companies why they don’t sell it in pints instead of quart containers and none of us would have a problem as to what to do with leftover buttermilk!

A LENTEN SOUP


Although this soup calls for chicken broth, it can be replaced with vegetable broth during Lent because the other ingredients give it plenty of zip. Add a small swirl of basil pesto and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese to each bowl for an Italian twist.

TOMATO POTATO FLORENTINE SOUP


• 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 2 ribs celery, sliced
• 2 medium carrots, sliced
• 1 (32-ounce) container vegetable broth
• 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes or 1 (26-ounce) jar marinara sauce
• 1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
• 2 teaspoons dried basil
• Garlic salt and ground pepper to taste
• 3 cups fresh spinach, coarsely chopped

Heat oil in a large saucepan; add onion, celery and carrots and cook 5 minutes to lightly brown. Stir in stick, tomatoes, potatoes and basil. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Let cool slightly, then puree in a blender, food processor or emersion stick blender until smooth. Pour back into saucepan and stir in spinach. Cook for a minute or 2 more to wilt the spinach.
Source: Adapted recipe from Potatoes, Goodness Unearthed! (National Potato Council) www.potatogoodness.com

Download PDF